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RPG Superstar 2015

9 Blazing Months


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

451 to 500 of 538 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | next > last >>
Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Cheapy wrote:
Bestower of the Blaze

Nice cheapy,

*flame god's hero-I would call this out by name. (I dinnae know there was an Arson sub-domain until I looked at this--go fig, its a goblin diety :) Dinnae need to be too obscure, but you can save yourself some words & get some goloarian tie-in.
**what effect is a smoke filled square? if no mechanical, the paragraph is not needed, if it does (concealment?) call it out.
***this is more powerful than a dirty trick. Where those hamper a target with penalties, this creates damage (actually does it-I assume it does because you are setting someone on fire....) Beyond that I would say something to the effect of 'this works like a dirty trick-except lights the target on fire', but that is just a guess (and sounds really kind of lame when I re-read it so I am probably not helping much) :P. :)
Nice job!

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Jacob Trier wrote:
Curaigh wrote:

*lava gloves (inspired by the same film as the bi-furcating belt, but you can decide what it does. )

No idea what movie you are referring to, but the idea of lava gloves inspired me to make these:** spoiler omitted **

This one! though for a long moment I dinnae think the gloves would show up :)

*Does using the once per day end the active part or do you still get magma gauntlets?

Not sure I can add anything after Clark's 'keep comment'. :) Nice job

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Anthony Adam wrote:
A clip on nose from a wolf that gives the wearer scent abilities.
Rovagug's Snout

Again not sure what I can add...

*on the stirge ability, does it have to be fresh blood or does it work against creatures with blood?
**disenchanter with each school being called out you can single someone with a magic dagger in their belt?
***EDIT: never mind missed the " 't" on can :P
...safe water, bonus to knowledge, creatures with condition...
I like that you have added something unique to these it goes the extra step without (imho) going SAK!
really excited for RPGSS now! Good work all :)

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Curaigh: thanks!

Here's my explanations for that one: I was going to mention everyone's favorite flame goddess of redemption, but had some concerns about clashing with the feel of her.

The smoke does grant concealment, as per the rules in the Environmental section of the book. I was going to mention it, but then I recalled the "don't restate rules." advice, so erred on not stating so.

The damage is fairly minor, only 1d4, and personally I think more often you'd like to do something like entangle. In my mind, it was more the ability to force a concentration check against spell casters, however minor. It would grant the rather rare ability to deal damage when you do a CM, so that is something to think about, hm.

Thanks for the feedback! It's very appreciated.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I think the "don't restate the rules" means, in this case, don't restate what the concealment rules are (i.e the actual rules of concealment), mentioning the provision of concealment should be ok though as that is a game term and is perfectly valid to say.

For your catch on fire wording, try using "ignite/igniting" - it may be stronger.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Okay, here is the item I was working on the last few weeks. I'm probably going to have a go at that potion pet as my final practice, so please be ruthless with this one (pretend you are one of the famous (infamous?) judges) and you have but 2 minutes to decide if you are hitting that big bad reject button.

Faith Halo ( 238 words):

Faith Halo
Aura faint evocation; CL 5th
Slot none; Price 3,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
Description

The Faith Halo is a hand held, engraved, gold holy symbol which radiates a shadowy nimbus when wielded by a negative energy channeler, or a golden halo for a positive energy channeler.

Based on the channeling level, this symbol allows the projection of channeling to a remote square within the normal area of channeling. For wielders who can channel but a single dice of energy, the Faith Halo allows the projection of the burst point of the channeling to any square within the wielders normal burst zone. Choosing to do so results in a smaller 20' burst but the damage die pool is not changed.

For wielders with multiple damage die when channeling, two additional choices are available. The wielder chooses two burst points within their normal zone, sharing the damage pool equally. The burst at both chosen points becomes a 15' burst.

With sufficient damage die pool, three points can be selected, sharing the dice equally, the burst for each point chosen becoming a 10' burst.

In both cases, any excess die are lost and all chosen burst points must reside within the normal channeling zone for the wielder. The Faith Halo acts in all other ways as a standard holy symbol.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Consecrate, Desecrate, Creator must have the Channel Energy Supernatural ability; Cost 1,500 gp

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Oh dear god, late night copying to your memory stick is never good - yeah - quite a bit of repetition in there - ack! >.<

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm a fan of the Faith Halo. I know I'd want it if I made a channeling specialist, and maybe even just as a general cleric. It's cheap enough for the general cleric, and doesn't use up a non-weapon slot.

I quite like the description of it. Especially when I'm imagining how it'd work with a cleric with versatile channeling. A half-shadowy / half-golden glow halo is really cool.

A few issues:

  • Channeling level isn't a game term. It should be something like "channeling dice". Sneak attack has a good number of abilities contingent on number of sneak attack dice. Same principle here, I think.
  • The restricting text ("For wielders who can channel but a single dice of energy") for people with 1d6 is quite purple.
  • Wielding is specifically meant for things you attack with. If you attack with a weapon, you're wielding it. If you're just holding it...well, just read this. It'll help.
  • "projection of the burst point of the channeling to any square". Minor nitpick, but channeling energy is a burst effect, so you'd be picking an intersection.
  • Splitting the dice. I'm not sure this works so well. It's not clear that you can split less than your available dice until the second to last sentence. Before that, it reads that when you have 3d6, you can only split it three ways, not 2 ways or even one way. Is that the intent? When you get 4d6, can you only split it two ways?

    Why can't I do a burst with all of my dice on one point, like the option 1d6 guys get?

    Can the channeling zones overlap? Can I drop all of my channels on on location? This would be useful for some variant channeling options. I think there's one that fatigues an enemy, so getting them fatigued -> exhausted in one standard action is very powerful.

    So, I think there are a few mechanical issues, but is otherwise a cool item. It's entirely possible that a developer would be able to fix those issues (or that I'm just imagining it), so I'm not sure if it'd be dinged for that.

    Casting both consecrate and desecrate isn't really an option for a non-neutral cleric making this. Forcing them to overcome an alignment-opposed spell is wonky to me, at least more so than having spells across spell lists.

    The price might be off too. UE introduced the malleable symbol. It can transform into any deity's holy symbol, but more importantly, the user can shape channel energy into being a 10-foot burst centered anywhere within 30', a 60-foot line, or a 30-foot cone. It costs 10,000 gp.

    Still! I'd love it for my cleric to have something like that.

  • Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter 2013, Champion Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

    Anthony Adam wrote:
    ** Faith Halo **

    Anthony! You are supposed to have mastered your template fu!

    Besides bold CL and lowercasing the spells, the big problem with the template is "Creator must have the Channel Energy Supernatural ability". None of those words should be capitalized and and the wording feels a bit off. Perhaps try "creator must have the channel energy class ability" or the less restrictive "creator must be able to channel energy".

    Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

    Anthony Adam wrote:
    Faith Halo ( 238 words):

    I did not hit the reject button in under two minutes!

    I dinnae hit it at all. I like this and playing with channel bursts is a good design choice. These are unique to PF so have some room to play with.
    *template and repetitiveness have been called out, there are some game terms that are not but I think a rewrite would fix those :)
    **shadowy nimbus, is this an oxymoron?
    ***As written a cleric with three dice (presumably what 'sufficient dice' mean) can get triple the burst dice to a target. Imagine X is the target and b is where I drop the three different bursts with "sharing the damage pool equally"

    .bXb.
    ..b..

    .Nice job AA Nice job.
    .......Nice job.......

    Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

    Cheapy wrote:
    The price might be off too. UE introduced the malleable symbol. It can transform into any deity's holy symbol, but more importantly, the user can shape channel energy into being a 10-foot burst centered anywhere within 30', a 60-foot line, or a 30-foot cone. It costs 10,000 gp.

    This is a small fear of mine. I dinnae have this book and I constantly hear of items the local PFS group have deemed 'necessary'. I hope a design niche I find will not be covered by one of these :)

    Of course 'good enough for a book of magic items' has a flip side. Go superstar or Clark gets to eat your soul :)

    Marathon Voter 2013

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Curaigh wrote:
    Cheapy wrote:
    The price might be off too. UE introduced the malleable symbol. It can transform into any deity's holy symbol, but more importantly, the user can shape channel energy into being a 10-foot burst centered anywhere within 30', a 60-foot line, or a 30-foot cone. It costs 10,000 gp.

    This is a small fear of mine. I dinnae have this book and I constantly hear of items the local PFS group have deemed 'necessary'. I hope a design niche I find will not be covered by one of these :)

    Of course 'good enough for a book of magic items' has a flip side. Go superstar or Clark gets to eat your soul :)

    Heh, that reminds me...

    Sean ate my soul last year due to my item being too strong. Up until the end, my item was going to work in a certain way with only certain type of spells. In the end, I couldn't get the flavor to work with just that type of spell, so I expanded the type of spells. That was probably my undoing.

    Fast forward a few months, and I was actually pretty amused when a magic item appeared in the ARG that did the main strong thing my original item did, but more powerful and a third as expensive.

    Reading over my item again, it's somewhat unclear how often the powerful effect could be used. I guess that's a pretty major ding to it.

    Marathon Voter 2013

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    It was a good idea to review my last year's submissions with a year since when I saw it last. Helps you see many of the issues with it, and really drives home what parts you need to improve on.

    Star Voter 2013

    That potion pet reminds me of an item I had been considering submitting this year. I have since had other ideas that I feel are probably better, so let's put this little guy out there and see what you all think, eh?

    Shabti Charm
    Aura faint conjuration and transmutation; CL 7th
    Slot --; Price 20,000gp; Weight 2 lbs.
    Description

    This tiny clay figurine looks like a disfigured humanoid, grey and nearly featureless. However, once per day the shabti can be activated, springing to life with fervor and will follow instructions for up to five rounds before returning to it's inert state. These instructions can be given all at once during activation, or as a swift action each round.

    While active, the shabti charm is considered a tiny humanoid with a 10 ft. Move speed, an AC of 18, hardness 1 and 6 hp. It can perform many simple tasks, but it also has an astonishing skill with magic items - and can activate magic items as if it were a medium creature with a Use Magic Device skill of +10.

    Construction
    Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, animate object, Use Magic Item 10 ranksCost ZZgp

    Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
    Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
    Anthony Adam wrote:
    ** Faith Halo **

    Anthony! You are supposed to have mastered your template fu!

    Besides bold CL and lowercasing the spells, the big problem with the template is "Creator must have the Channel Energy Supernatural ability". None of those words should be capitalized and and the wording feels a bit off. Perhaps try "creator must have the channel energy class ability" or the less restrictive "creator must be able to channel energy".

    Yeah, that bit on the construction was the first time I had attempted something like that, I wasnt sure how to refer to supernatural abilities so posted what I had ( kind of a sneaky, what am i doing wrong here :D )

    As for CL, yeah, hangs head in shame, points at nasty confusing office 2010 - its quite different from my old office 2000 >.<

    Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
    Cheapy wrote:


  • Channeling level isn't a game term. It should be something like "channeling dice".
  • Totally agree - it was a new area I hadn't played in before, so I admit I struggled on "channeling" terminology - one of the reasons I think I ended up posting a very clunky description.

    Quote:


  • The restricting text ("For wielders who can channel but a single dice of energy") for people with 1d6 is quite purple.
  • See above, I was attempting to leave things open for channeling classes in books I don't have and/or future classes. I do like the dice number idea, it saves words nicely :)

    Quote:


  • Wielding is specifically meant for things you attack with.
  • Very nice article - what I was attempting was that the item had to be consciously used and so "wielded" via presenting the holy symbol - i.e. if it's just in your hands, you get your normal channeling only. A good one to watch for - think I may add that article link to my template thread.

    Quote:


  • "projection of the burst point of the channeling to any square". Minor nitpick, but channeling energy is a burst effect, so you'd be picking an intersection.
  • Yeah, I was sticking with the burst centered on the cleric of the original power, i.e you pick the square(s) that are deemed to be cleric origins of the burst - I wasn't sure on intersection = better brush up on those combat lines of effect and area templates etc again. ( As it was a new area for me, I thought it would bring out some rusty rules I hadn't reviewed in a while :) )

    Quote:


  • Splitting the dice. I'm not sure this works so well. It's not clear that you can split less than your available dice until the second to last sentence. Before that, it reads that when you have 3d6, you can only split it three ways, not 2 ways or even one way. Is that the intent? When you get 4d6, can you only split it two ways?
  • Hmmm, maybe that didn't come across so well, I did have a table in my notes -

    1d6 - all you can do is project to a single point
    2d6 - project 2d6 to a single point, or 1d6 to two points
    3d6 - 3d6 to a single point, 1d6 to two points losing the 3rd d6, or 1d6 to 3 points
    4d6 - 4d6 to a single point, 2d6 to two points or 1d6 to 3 points losing the 4th d6.
    etc - hope that shows it better, basically you divide the points into the dice losing the fractional dice.

    Quote:


    Why can't I do a burst with all of my dice on one point, like the option 1d6 guys get?

    Yeah, that didn't come across at all, you can (See examples above). I hadn't meant to preclude that at all.

    Quote:


    Can the channeling zones overlap?

    He he, I also realized this after posting - I would let them overlap but the dice pools wouldn't stack in the overlap - otherwise you could overlap to get a bigger area than original in total.

    Quote:


    Can I drop all of my channels on one location?

    My thoughts on the base theme was that any channeling effect could be projected, but I think stacking the effects might be out of game balance, so I would be tempted to treat as the overlapping effects above.

    The item doesn't change how you channel, or how often etc, it only affects the burst origin. That was my conscious design thought. I'll have a think, but at the moment, if a channeled effect takes two rounds to realize, it should I think continue to do so.

    Hope that shows the thoughts behind what I was attempting.

    Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
    Curaigh wrote:


    **shadowy nimbus, is this an oxymoron?

    :) - thanks Curaigh - I wondered if this would work - I was trying to describe a halo effect made of shadow rather than illumination (have you ever been so tired/or near to fainting that you get dark rings around your eyesight - that was kind of the effect I was attempting to describe)

    On your stacking question, if the cleric has 3d6 and places all three zones into a single place (dont forget the 3d6 are now 1d6 per zone), you could say you chose to have a smaller area only at no dice change :)

    The answers to cheapy illuminate what I mean by sharing.

    Change the word share to "distributed equally across the zones".

    Now, after all those reviews, it seems I'm in the right sort of ball park this year - just have to keep it up now :)

    Thanks all for you time - that was really good getting into an in-depth review at this point in the year - very much appreciated.

    Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
    Curaigh wrote:
    or Clark gets to eat your soul :)

    Ha! Immune!

    He can't eat what he has already eaten!

    There's none left, he's had it all in prior years :)

    Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
    RonarsCorruption wrote:

    That potion pet reminds me of an item I had been considering submitting this year. I have since had other ideas that I feel are probably better, so let's put this little guy out there and see what you all think, eh?

    Shabti Charm
    Aura faint conjuration and transmutation; CL 7th
    Slot --; Price 20,000gp; Weight 2 lbs.
    Description

    This tiny clay figurine looks like a disfigured humanoid, grey and nearly featureless. However, once per day the shabti can be activated, springing to life with fervor and will follow instructions for up to five rounds before returning to it's inert state. These instructions can be given all at once during activation, or as a swift action each round.

    While active, the shabti charm is considered a tiny humanoid with a 10 ft. Move speed, an AC of 18, hardness 1 and 6 hp. It can perform many simple tasks, but it also has an astonishing skill with magic items - and can activate magic items as if it were a medium creature with a Use Magic Device skill of +10.

    Construction
    Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, animate object, Use Magic Item 10 ranksCost ZZgp

    Template: ZZgp? Oopsie - also don't forget the space between the number and the gp in the template. Slot should be none; as per the latest errata. Same mistake I made on the wordy part of the Construction (and a missing semi colon on the end of it) - Don't capitalize from the start - This part of construction is varied and easy to trip over as I discovered. :) There is also very specific wording for this requirement (notice the skill is capitalized): "creator must have 10 ranks in Use Magic Item;"

    I like that you gave the pet attributes and speed. The only thing that bothers me is "instructions can be given all at once during activation". This could be open to abuse, so you may need to state the limit of an instruction. As it stands I could say for the first instruction...

    "In the first round, move north 20 feet", or, I could say, "In the first round, if the mage has fallen unconscious, go stand over his body, otherwise if the ranger has run out of arrows, fetch any unbroken arrows back to him, unless the ranger is also unconscious in which case go and bite the ogre's bottom unless we are all unconscious in which case drag my body to safety."

    Now I if I wanted 5 rounds of complicated instructions, that may exceed the number of seconds in a round in order to say it all. I have also assumed the instructions must be spoken as they can be given round by round. So you may want to think about what it does when it doesn't receive new instructions.

    One way you could limit the instruction is by setting a low Int score, allowing the definitions from Intelligence to be applied to what the pet can understand. Also can the pet attack? If so, what attack type does it have and what damage can it do?

    Finally, I didn't see any reference to being a "potion" pet, it could be a rag doll for example based on the current description.

    RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka motteditor

    Cheapy, I wouldn't call that a weapon. It's a torch -- I think it's always going to be risky when you have items that do things in combat like dirty tricks, but I wouldn't auto-reject that. Of course, I'm not a judge. : )

    Small note, Anthony, as others have already done most of the dissection: You write, "For wielders who can channel but a single dice of energy..." and "For wielders with multiple damage die.." Die is singular; dice is the plural form; you've got them reversed.

    RonarsCorruption wrote:


    Shabti Charm
    Aura faint conjuration and transmutation; CL 7th
    Slot --; Price 20,000gp; Weight 2 lbs.
    Description

    This tiny clay figurine looks like a disfigured humanoid, grey and nearly featureless. However, once per day the shabti can be activated, springing to life with fervor and will follow instructions for up to five rounds before returning to it's inert state. These instructions can be given all at once during activation, or as a swift action each round.

    While active, the shabti charm is considered a tiny humanoid with a 10 ft. Move speed, an AC of 18, hardness 1 and 6 hp. It can perform many simple tasks, but it also has an astonishing skill with magic items - and can activate magic items as if it were a medium creature with a Use Magic Device skill of +10.

    Construction
    Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, animate object, Use Magic Item 10 ranksCost ZZgp

    Part of me thought of suggesting you throw Craft Construct in, but I think your spell choice is probably good enough.

    You've got the wrong "its" in your second sentence. "It's" (with an apostrophe) is a contraction, not a possessive. (Easy mistake to make, that I've certainly done myself, but figured I'd spell it out just in case).

    I think I'd also give the charm a Strength score -- could it use a maul of the titans, for example? That's a magic item, but it would seem a stretch that this charm could do it.

    Speaking of which, you call it a charm in the name, but never really get into that. Is it something that can be attached to a bracelet when not active? Not sure if that bothers anyone else, but kind of struck me as maybe something I want called out considering you've got plenty of room to spare. That said, I do like the item.

    Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

    Dagnabbit, I knew it was Die and Dice, trust me to get the cart before horse - thanks for pointing that out. Duly noted.

    Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

    I had a few minutes to fix up (and use the correct file on my memory stick this time).

    The price isn't pure calculation, I based it on instinct and comparison to similar powered items - as I am really only affecting placement of areas of effect and losing at most 1 or 2 dice based on desired use, I felt it needed to be reasonably cheap and useful early on in game and yet scale with the player as their power grows and still be desirable at higher levels of play. So the price was probably 25% calculated and 75% gut feeling.

    Anyway, here is what I should have posted - hope you enjoy it.

    Faith Halo (229 words):

    Faith Halo
    Aura faint evocation; CL 5th
    Slot none; Price 3,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
    Description

    The faith halo is a hand held, engraved, gold holy symbol radiating a discernible nimbus around itself. The ambient light of the nimbus changes from where it is in immediate contact with the symbol, to it's edge one inch out from the symbol.

    A faith halo allows a channeler to project their channeling burst to any square within their normal channeling zone. At higher levels, the channeler may target 1, 2 or 3 burst points, distributing their channeling dice pool equally across the chosen burst points. You must have at least as many channeling dice available as chosen burst points.

    Choosing multiple bursts changes the burst size. Choosing 2 burst points results in each having a 20' burst. Choosing 3 points results in 15' bursts. Excess channeling dice are lost when distributed equally across multiple burst points. Bursts that overlap do not stack.

    When presented by a negative energy channeler, the nimbus radiates outwards from a dark unwholesome light to a shadowy pre-dawn light. For a positive energy channeler, the nimbus shines with golden sunlight fading out to an early morning sunrise. The faith halo acts in all other ways as a standard holy symbol.

    Construction
    Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, consecrate, desecrate, creator must have the channel energy class ability; Cost 1,500 gp

    RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

    In the interests of giving some folks who've been hard at work here for months on end, I thought I'd offer an early critique on a few of the more recent practice items just to see where your skills have grown...and where they might still be lacking in some areas.

    RonarsCorruption wrote:
    Shabti Charm

    Intriguing item choice. Shabtis aren't an everyday term. (I had to look it up.) But, as funerary figurines from Ancient Egypt, they seem like a nice choice for a wondrous item. The "charm" part of its name seems misplaced, though. A name like that makes me think of it as more of a necklace charm than a figurine. Yet, you don't want to describe it as a figurine of wondrous power either. So, let's see where this goes...

    RonarsCorruption wrote:
    Aura faint conjuration and transmutation; CL 7th

    For something leaning on animate objects, it makes sense to have transmutation in the aura. Not sure conjuration magic is needed, though. I could have seen room for necromancy being involved, given the shabtis historical description as a funerary item, but I'd also like to see some actual necromantic effect in the item's powers, as well.

    Why only a 7th level CL? The animate objects spell is a 6th level cleric spell. That means you'd have to be a minimum of 11th level to cast it. So, you'd think the shabti charm would require a spellcaster of that level, as well.

    RonarsCorruption wrote:
    Slot --; Price 20,000gp; Weight 2 lbs.

    Go with a slot of "none" now. That's a change from prior editions. You need a space between the value of your price and the "gp" designation. No comment on the appropriateness of the price yet. Reading on...

    RonarsCorruption wrote:

    Description

    This tiny clay figurine looks like a disfigured humanoid, grey and nearly featureless. However, once per day the shabti can be activated, springing to life with fervor and will follow instructions for up to five rounds before returning to it's inert state. These instructions can be given all at once during activation, or as a swift action each round.

    Some poor grammar and word choices are showing up here. I like that you describe what the shabti looks like. I don't like the use of "can be" when you could have avoided it. Also, use of the word "will" is weak/passive language. Instead of saying something "will" do something, just say it does it. Thus, instead of the shabti "...will follow instructions for up to five rounds..." just say the shabti "...follows instructions for up to five rounds. You've also got an "it's" vs. "its" snafu in there.

    The last statement about the actions necessary for giving the shabti instructions could have been done more eloquently, I think, by relying on the wording of similar spells or skills that are used to control a creature or a construct. You need to give some idea of how complicated the instructions can be.

    RonarsCorruption wrote:
    While active, the shabti charm is considered a tiny humanoid with a 10 ft. Move speed, an AC of 18, hardness 1 and 6 hp. It can perform many simple tasks, but it also has an astonishing skill with magic items - and can activate magic items as if it were a medium creature with a Use Magic Device skill of +10.

    I've got more concerns here. You've misrepresented a number of game terms. Creature sizes should always be capitalized. So, it should be "...a Tiny humanoid..." and "...a Medium creature..." I'm also wondering why size matters when activating magic items with its Use Magic Device skill?

    Additionally, you've capitalized "Move" when you didn't need to.

    Why make this shabti animate as a humanoid rather than a construct?

    Isn't this just a figurine of wondrous power with the ability to do Use Magic Device?

    In game terms, this on-command companion is able to fire off a wand or read a spell scroll in order to give a wizard, sorcerer, or other spellcaster what basically amounts to an extra action. There are other ways to gain additional actions, too...through Quicken Spell metamagic and the like. What happens when you stack this shabti's additional action on top of that?

    The description states that the shabti can also perform "simple" tasks. What kind of simple tasks? What's its Str score to determine its carrying capacity? I'm left wondering more things about this tiny animated creature than I have answers.

    RonarsCorruption wrote:

    Construction

    Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, animate object, Use Magic Item 10 ranksCost ZZgp

    Template failure with the "ZZgp" thing. So, attention to detail would become a concern. Doubly so for referencing "Use Magic Item"...which isn't a skill. Obviously, should have been "Use Magic Device"...and the appropriate spell name should have been animate objects rather than than animate object.

    And lastlly, this is the place where I usually circle back and do a price check based on everything I understand about an item and its powers. The 20,000 gp price tag may or may not be warranted here. It's hard to put a value on what this item can do, because some of it is still left undefined. Based on what is defined, however, an extra action for 5 rounds so your construct buddy can have a 50/50 chance of activating a wand for you (or maybe less for reading spell scrolls) is debatable. The price might be okay. Or, it might not. It's a potential contingency plan for someone or a means of keeping them on their feet as the shabti runs about with a wand of cure serious wounds to heal the party in a major fight. For 20,000 gp, who wouldn't want that (in addition to all the other simple commands it can undertake for you)?

    So, as a practice item, this is fine in that it leads to further discussion, hopefully. As a finished item, this wouldn't fly at all. I'd like to see you tighten things down, Ronar. You've been working hard at the contest every year and participate in every way leading up to the event. Make sure you get these details hammered out. I'd like to see you in the Top 32, someday.

    My two cents,
    --Neil

    Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
    Neil Spicer wrote:

    ... excellent feedback as usual - some of which we all spotted :)

    ... Ronar. You've been working hard at the contest every year and participate in every way leading up to the event. Make sure you get these details hammered out. I'd like to see you in the Top 32, someday.

    Most definitely agree with that - so come on Ronar - more polish and shine please.

    RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

    Anthony Adam wrote:
    Faith Halo

    Not really thrilled by the name. This item seems like it should be a circlet or something that fits around your head and projects an image of a halo. I like to see concrete things in an item's name. That's just my preference as a former-judge, however. And items with more abstract names have certainly made it into the contest before. I just think you need get more concrete here. You had the seed of a good item idea, but it needs a better name.

    Anthony Adam wrote:
    Aura faint evocation; CL 5th

    You've got an appropriate aura for an item based around consecrate/desecrate. As 2nd level cleric spells, however, you could have gone with CL 3rd rather than CL 5th, as the bare minimum. Sometimes, it's worth bumping up a CL if you want to make your effect more difficult to dispel. Or, if it carries a duration based on CL and you need it to be higher to explain an effect's duration. I didn't see anything necessarily warranting that here.

    Anthony Adam wrote:
    Slot none; Price 3,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

    All good. Price might be a tad low. I'm interested when I see low cost items. They're more difficult to do. So, when I see that, I usually pay more attention to price to see if it's accurate enough.

    Anthony Adam wrote:

    Description

    The faith halo is a hand held, engraved, gold holy symbol radiating a discernible nimbus around itself. The ambient light of the nimbus changes from where it is in immediate contact with the symbol, to it's edge one inch out from the symbol.

    Hmmm...so it's an actual hand-held holy symbol then? Not what I imagined based on the name. An halo just screams circlet or crown to me. This should be a "head" slot item. Not an object carried in your hand. It can still act like a holy symbol without being one, though.

    That said, I like that you describe the item's appearance immediately. But I'm somewhat put off by the poor phrasing of the second sentence. Try reading that aloud to someone and see if they clearly understand what you're saying. Check to see if you can word that differently and make it flow better. Also, you've got an "it's" vs. "its" grammar problem in there.

    Anthony Adam wrote:
    A faith halo allows a channeler to project their channeling burst to any square within their normal channeling zone. At higher levels, the channeler may target 1, 2 or 3 burst points, distributing their channeling dice pool equally across the chosen burst points. You must have at least as many channeling dice available as chosen burst points.

    I'm a bit confused by how this is worded. You need to work on your clarity. The concept sounds innovative, but I'm not sure if that's because of what I'm reading into it...or what you've actually tried to state.

    So, this seems like Selective Channeling in a way. Only, instead of excluding selected targets, you're reversing the flow by saying they restrict it down to only certain squares...the number of which are limited by their number of channeling dice. Then, to nerf this channeling spread, you're making it so they have to split their channeling dice across those burst points. They don't all just receive the full number of channeling dice.

    If that's how you meant to describe things, I think that's pretty savvy. You're trading off greater control of the channeling burst for weaker channeling effects. And, you've based the degree of control on the number of dice the channeler has available...which means the item grows in power with the user. I like that aspect of it, because it makes the wondrous item valuable long-term for the PC. This would become a must-have item for pretty much anyone with channeling ability. It's almost like gaining the Selective Channeling feat, only better in some ways (i.e., number of targeted squares) and worse in others (distilled channeling power).

    A feat invested in a wondrous item will normally run you 5,000 gp. It's a benchmark value. Your ability should fall along the same lines. The advantage and disadvantage of the effect is mostly a wash. So, it's close to the same value as the Selective Channeling feat in my eyes. Thus, 3,000 gp for the price of this item is probably a little low, not only because of the value of the feat it kind of simulates, but also because of its ongoing versatility and usability. Also, as a slotless item, it'd need to be bumped up further anyway.

    Anthony Adam wrote:
    Choosing multiple bursts changes the burst size. Choosing 2 burst points results in each having a 20' burst. Choosing 3 points results in 15' bursts. Excess channeling dice are lost when distributed equally across multiple burst points. Bursts that overlap do not stack.

    Ah. Now things become clearer. You're not restricting the channeler's effect to only certain squares within his existing burst radius. You're actually creating multiple bursts and selecting multiple burst points from which they emanate...all of which still have to reside within the original burst radius. Then, you're damping down the effect of the channeled energy because it's been dispersed and weakened over the additional areas.

    Okay. That's also interesting. It's kind of like a widening of the channeled area of effect. Is that really necessary, though? In most games, channeled energy has a pretty large burst radius to begin with. The average dungeon room or corridor usually doesn't provide that much more surface area where you need to extend your channeling ability into it. Additionally, why wouldn't overlapping bursts stack? To me, that would make more sense. The sum total would never be more than a regular channel effect without the dispersal. So, why not stack them?

    Lastly, you've included the dreaded hash-tag...i.e. " ' "...in your distances here. I've called that out before. It's not how distances are indicated in game text. Should be 20-ft. burst, etc.

    Anthony Adam wrote:
    When presented by a negative energy channeler, the nimbus radiates outwards from a dark unwholesome light to a shadowy pre-dawn light. For a positive energy channeler, the nimbus shines with golden sunlight fading out to an early morning sunrise. The faith halo acts in all other ways as a standard holy symbol.

    This feels more like throwaway text to me. If its meant to be part of the description, it should be pulled up into the actual description of the item. I get what you're saying. More could have been done here, though. You could have given an ancillary power here to provide a positive channeler with the ability to generate light and a negative channeler the ability to generate darkness by playing around with the rules for lighting...i.e., just let it alter the ambient light in one step in either direction, depending on what kind of energy the halo is meant to channel. That could have shown additional initiative and innovation.

    Anthony Adam wrote:

    Construction

    Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, consecrate, desecrate, creator must have the channel energy class ability; Cost 1,500 gp

    Well done here. I still think the cost is too low for what you're striving toward.

    My two-cents,
    --Neil

    Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter 2013, Champion Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

    And Neil has once again cast avalanche of words.

    Anthony Adam wrote:
    Faith Halo

    Much improved.

    Quote:
    A faith halo allows a channeler to project their channeling burst to any square within their normal channeling zone.

    I would change the word channeler to bearer to prevent confusion and channeler is a 3PP class and may confuse folks. You could have used more definitive wording as well. Maybe something along the lines of "The bearer may project their channel energy burst to originate at any point within the area of their normal channeling zone." But this leads to the question, what if the area the user channels enery in has been modified in any way? Like to create a cone or line, increase in size (60 ft. burst), or in any other way. "The bearer may center their channel energy burst at any point within 30 feet of themself." By being more precise, you remove ambiguity and reduce chance of becoming overpowered as future changes are made to the existing rules.

    In general game terms, it seems the word "select" is more preferable than "choose".

    Quote:
    When presented by a negative energy channeler, the nimbus radiates outwards from a dark unwholesome light to a shadowy pre-dawn light. For a positive energy channeler, the nimbus shines with golden sunlight fading out to an early morning sunrise. The faith halo acts in all other ways as a standard holy symbol.

    I would have included this in the beginning of the items description. Does this sunlight have any effect on creatures affected by sunlight? I like to make sure descriptive text does not interfere with possible mechanics.

    And a tangeant, why are evil items always dark and shadowy? I would think the fires of Asmodeus' domain would shine bright. Cayden Cailean may prefer the shadows of a cozy bar and Desna would prefer a moonless night with the only light coming from the distant stars.

    Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter 2013, Champion Voter 2014, Marathon Voter 2015

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Beaten by Neil! He typed 4x what I did in 1/2 the time. He is some kind of unnatural beast!

    RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

    Curaigh wrote:
    Spinestick

    Odd name. Curious to read on and see what sets this apart from a weapon, wand, rod, or staff. Also, curious to see if this gets gruesome/gross with the "spine" reference. So, we'll see...

    Curaigh wrote:
    Aura moderate necromancy; CL 6th

    Well...maledicton is certainly a necromantic spell effect. So, the aura is appopriate. The CL could probably be 5th rather than 6th, but it's not a huge factor here. I'm more curious about the choice to use malediction from the optional Hero Point system in the APG. Clearly, you're reaching for the path less traveled, much like the alternate Words of Power system from Ultimate Magic, which saw its way into a Top 32 item in an earlier contest. This has the potential to either intrigue...or crash-and-burn.

    Curaigh wrote:
    Slot none; Price 27,000 gp; Weight -- lbs.

    You don't need "lbs." when you've listed "--" for your weight. Other than that, you're on your way. I'll check on appropriateness for price at the end.

    Curaigh wrote:

    Description

    This stick of apple wood is segmented to resemble the vertebrate of a hand-sized creature.

    I think it's "vertebra" or "vertebrae" you should use here rather than "vertebrate," but I get your meaning. Additionally, your description could use some punching up. I'd like to see you give some sense of dimension to the item. Just saying it resembles the spine of a hand-sized creature isn't doing it for me. How long is it? Wand-sized? Smaller? One foot? Two feet? What? Also, this is your chance to show the judges how well you can write inspiring descriptions. It's a wondrous item. Is there anything physically wondrous in its appearance? Or, is it so mundane that it would be easily overlooked among a bunch of common items? Give us something more.

    Curaigh wrote:
    The spinestick allows an attempt to trade one’s life for another’s.

    Weak wording here. Try "...allows the user to trade one life for another..." Then, go on to explain how...because, obviously, a claim like that will draw everyone's immediate attention. And don't go loose with the "allows an attempt to" language. If the item can do something (no matter if it requires a check or a save or whatever), just state that it does it. Later, you can go on to explain how it only does it under the right circumstances. For now, though, you need to describe it in wondrous terms like someone who heard about it through the ancient legends and tales would describe its power. It can trade one life for another. Say it. Then explain how.

    Curaigh wrote:
    When placed against the spine of a dying creature, the spinestick crackles and pops and connects itself to the creature’s vertebrate like a small handle. Lifting the handle pulls the creature’s spine apart killing the creature and storing death charges into the stick.

    Hmmm. Okay. This is the part where it snuffs one life so you can use it to save another. I'm not sure how I feel about the term "death charges." You could probably get away with just saying the dying creature's life force charges the stick. This is also the point where you should probably give this effect a saving throw. After all, malediction provides for one. You should, as well. And this is a good opportunity to show you understand how to set an appropriate DC for a wondrous item's spell effect. It shouldn't be an automatic "slay" effect just because the device is attached to a dying creature's spine.

    Curaigh wrote:
    These charges function as hero points except they do not count against a character’s maximum and can only be used to prevent a character’s death. Whenever a failed a d20 roll results in the death of the user, she may spend one hero point for a reroll, per the Reroll rules of the Advanced Player Guide. If the character dies, she may use two death charges for the Cheat Death. He becomes stable at -5 hit points.

    Hmmm. Some stylistic quibbles here. No need to capitalize "Reroll" or "Cheat Death." They're not capitalized in their own references in the APG. Additionally, if you call out books like the APG in your item description, make sure you italicize the title.

    Curaigh wrote:
    The target creature must have a backbone so vermin, plants, oozes, incorporeal creatures, etc. do not function with the spinestick.

    Good to note.

    Curaigh wrote:
    The creature must be dying but not yet dead, therefore unconconscious and not stable or bleeding and under 5 hit points (a GM may determine other conditions as appropriate).

    Ack! No. Never leave it to GM discretion. Big no-no. State the terms unequivocally so there's no room for arguments at the game table when this thing gets used by a villain on a PC. Just say it only works on creatures with the dying condition. That already implies you're not stable, right? And you're not conscious in that condition either. So, make sure when you reference a certain game term (like "dying") that you fully understand what it defines. That way, you don't have to waste words or description explaining it. Just direct the reader to look up the dying condition in the glossary and you're good to go.

    Curaigh wrote:
    Ceatures with 5 hit dice give one death charge while creatures with 10 or more hit dice give two death charges. The charges remain in the spinestick for one day per hit die.

    Why only one or two charges based on 5 HD vs. 10 HD? The malediction spell gives 1 hero point per 5 HD to a maximum of 3. Seems like that would suffice for your spinestick, no? Why restate or tweak that here?

    Curaigh wrote:
    The charged spinestick is flexible and can be worn as a bracelet or attached to a worn item such as a belt or cloak. It must be on the user’s person to provide any benefits.

    Eh. Okay. No biggie. The item is slotless, but if you wear it as a bracelet, does that interfere with wearing other magic bracelets? This probably isn't worth including in your item's description. It doesn't add all that much. And you could have spent those words punching up the awesome one more degree instead.

    Curaigh wrote:

    Construction

    Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, malediction; Cost 13,500 gp

    You're good here. Price seems okay to me. It's comparable to a periapt of wound closure in some ways. But it also provides other benefits. That kind of flexibility probably warrants the higher price.

    This is kind of novel. Reaching for something involving hero points shows some chutzpah. I'm not sure I'm 100% sold on the spinestick...and the execution is lacking in some areas in terms of phrasing and your description of the mechanics...but the design choice would certainly make the judges think twice about it. Cleaned up, it might be a worthy enough idea to keep around for further discussion.

    Just my two cents,
    --Neil

    RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka motteditor

    Neil Spicer wrote:
    Anthony Adam wrote:
    That's just my preference as a former-judge, however.

    Wait, what? Say it ain't so, Joe.

    RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

    Cheapy wrote:
    Bestower of the Blaze

    Hmmm. Don't really care for the name. It gives me no idea what the item is. It certainly tells me it'll involve fire, but that's about it. Abstract names like this always put me in a negative mood as I wade deeper into an item's description. I want to pin the designer down and say, "What's your item?! Don't tell me the fluffy name! Tell me what it is! A torch? Okay. Let's give it a name that actually has "torch" somewhere in it. Don't be coy with it. Bring the heat!" (yes, I pun) ;-)

    Cheapy wrote:
    Aura faint evocation; CL 3rd

    Aura and CL make sense for an item based around continual flame and pyrotechnics. Good spell choices, by the way.

    Cheapy wrote:
    Slot —; Price 3,400 gp; Weight 1/2 lb.

    Slot can be "none" now. With a price that low, I'm further intrigued, because that makes this a harder wondrous item to design. So, I'm eager to see what's going to be done with it in terms of its low-cost powers. Weight seems low, though. A typical torch (including an everburning torch) are both 1 lb. in the equipment list.

    Cheapy wrote:

    Description

    At first glance, this torch appears and acts as an everburning torch made from darkwood. But upon closer inspection, etchings of the trials and tribulations of a flame god's hero adorn the torch's shaft. When grasped in hand however, the heatless flame becomes real fire, giving off heat as a torch.

    Interesting. We're mixing in real heat with an otherwise normally heatless, light-giving item. And I like the descriptive text. You kept it loose and generic enough that it works and avoids needless backstory. Go on...

    Cheapy wrote:
    Three times per day as a move action, the bearer may command the torch to produce enough smoke to fill one square the bearer is in. The bearer suffers no ill-effects from this smoke. This smoke lasts for 1 round and follows the torch.

    Hmmm...seems odd that the smoke follows the torch. But I suppose that's the magic of it. It's basically a smokestick with a smaller area of effect that's portable rather than lingering behind. And meant to grant concealment. But why for only 1 round? You spend your move action to activate the smoke. A second action to move away. And when it comes back around to your turn, it's over? Okay. You can do it 3 times per day. But still. I'd like to see that duration linger a bit longer. And, for more usability, maybe make it so the bearer can leave the smoke behind or take it with him. That way, he can further confuse and disorient anyone following after him. I think that would punch this up a bit...especially if the torch bearer carried the smoke with him...cast invisibility...and then left the smoke behind as he moved away. Much higher degree of application to the item then.

    Cheapy wrote:
    If used as part of a dirty trick combat maneuver, the heat greatly intensifies, allowing the bearer to choose to cause his opponent to catch fire instead of the normal dirty trick effects. The opponent does not receive a Reflex saving throw to avoid catching on fire. The flames use the normal duration for dirty trick effects, although the opponent may attempt to prematurely put out the flames in later rounds, using a DC 15 Reflex save.

    Hmmm. If the torch is going to do this, I'd recommend a few changes. First, put spark in the spell requirements. Then, treat it like the burn universal monster ability. That way, as long as the dirty trick combat maneuver is effective (or even if you just want to treat the torch as an improvised weapon), you can say it still allows the victim a Reflex save to avoid catching on fire. For simplicity, it's probably best to make it DC 15 just to keep it the same as the DC for putting yourself out when you've caught fire. That gives the torch another punch in the right direction.

    Does that make it too much of a weapon? I don't think so. I'd still consider it worthwhile, because it has other useful effects beyond just being a weapon. Specifically, I think the smoke effect is probably its best feature. But the "catch on fire" ability does ramp things up too high if you don't scale it back with a limited number of times per day it can do that effect. I'd probably say make it so the item doesn't produce "real" fire until you invoke the spark ability...and then make it so you can only do that a limited number of times per day...and then state you can use it to set someone on fire as part of a dirty trick combat maneuver (but still give them a Reflex save to avoid per the burn mechanics).

    Cheapy wrote:

    Construction

    Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, continual flame, pyrotechnics; Cost 1,700 gp

    Add spark here and I think you're good to go.

    Cool idea. Would definitely get some serious consideration among the judges, I think. Just change the name...and focus the item down on its coolest ability so that you properly feature it in your descriptive text.

    My two cents,
    --Neil

    RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka motteditor

    Neil, I'm curious, when you talk about a low-price item, what's your threshold for considering something low price?

    RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

    Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
    Neil, I'm curious, when you talk about a low-price item, what's your threshold for considering something low price?

    Usually in the neighborhood of under 4,000 gp. The bottom half of the minor wondrous item list, basically.

    Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

    Many thanks for covering my item Neil.

    This is way above and beyond for a judge to do this before the competition and is very much appreciated by all of us in this practice thread.

    I hope you are at least enjoying your self doing this, we wouldn't want you tuckered out before the real entries begin.

    Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
    Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
    Neil Spicer wrote:
    Anthony Adam wrote:
    That's just my preference as a former-judge, however.
    Wait, what? Say it ain't so, Joe.

    Be careful of your Quote blocking there Jacob - Neil said that - not me :)

    Marathon Voter 2013

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Thanks for the feedback Neil. I shall be sure to take it under advisement for my real entries. A reason I went with a modified dirty trick was so that it would be useful at higher levels too when a DC 15 is more or less an auto-save.

    Makes me wish there was an easier way to have magic items scale with the user :)

    RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

    Cheapy wrote:
    A reason I went with a modified dirty trick was so that it would be useful at higher levels too when a DC 15 is more or less an auto-save....Makes me wish there was an easier way to have magic items scale with the user :)

    They can't all scale, though, Cheapy. It's just as valid to create a low-cost magic item which only remains useful during the adventuring band in which you acquire it. There certainly precedent for that in the game.

    That said, the burn rules for monsters do scale according to Hit Dice. So, there's room for examining it that way, if you wanted. However, in this case, I think it's wiser to associate the burn mechanic with the device moreso than the wielder of the torch. Then, the items spark effect can define the base Reflex DC. It makes the item more self-contained that way. Useful, but low cost because of its cap.

    RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

    Anthony Adam wrote:
    This is way above and beyond for a judge to do this before the competition and is very much appreciated by all of us in this practice thread.

    It's no different than all the other detailed item reviews provided over the course of the past few years. And these are still object lessons for everyone, not just you guys as individuals.

    Marathon Voter 2013

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Very true. It's possible I got caught up with the idea of making an item that would be playstyle defining, and so I thought that it would need to scale. But just having a cool item that works for a few levels is just as valid too. Even without the dirty trick ability, it's still fairly useful for its other properties. I guess trying to make the item defining of a playstyle, in this case using the off-hand for a torch, is something else to be aware of. The effort and word count put in to making it scale could be used to punch up other sections of the item.

    In addition, if all items scaled, the scaling items wouldn't be special anymore!

    I, and all the others, are learning a lot from all these. Thanks again!

    RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

    Awesome work, Neil - don't stop now :-)

    I know Clark already weighed in on the magma gauntlets, but I'd love to hear what you think too.

    Star Voter 2013

    Thanks all for the feedback. As with many items I've put forth in this thread the Shabti charm isn't nearly as polished as I would have submitted for an actual entry.

    That said, this is after the fact and it doesn't really matter what I say now in terms of excuses - I made errors here. Some of them I realized (the ZZgp comes to mind), others I didn't (damn Medium). Still others I blame on winging the item for practice (animate object and CL 7, I'm looking at you).

    I've made some edits based on your feedback, and I'll start working on something of a quality I would actually submit, just to prove my point above. ;)

    I think the biggest difficulty with the shabti charm is making it different from a figurine of wondrous power, though still acting like one.

    Shabti Charm (take 2)
    Aura faint transmutation; CL 11th
    Slot none; Price 20,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.
    Description

    Hanging from a loop of copper chain, this tiny clay figurine looks like a disfigured humanoid, grey and nearly featureless. Though short, the chain stretches to accommodate wrapping itself around any Medium or smaller magic item, which it will attune to over the course of one hour.

    Upon its owners command once a day, the shabti charm springs to live with vigor, grasping hold of the item to which it is attuned and following instructions put to it for up to 11 rounds, at which point it returns to its inert state in whatever square it is currently in. The owner may command the shabti charm as a move action during this time.

    While active, the shabti is a tiny construct with a 10 ft. move speed, an AC of 18, hardness 1 and 6hp. It can carry and manipulate its attuned object no matter the weight, but cannot otherwise manipulate other objects weighing more than 1 lb.

    While commanding the shabti charm, the owner may instruct the shabti to activate its attuned item. For this purpose, the shabti has a Use Magic Device modifier of +10. Successfully activating the item expends the remainder of the charm's daily power, returning the shabti to its inert state at the beginning of the next round.

    Construction
    Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, animate object, creator must have 10 ranks in Use Magic Device; Cost 10,000 gp

    RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Still needs refinement...

    RonarsCorruption wrote:
    Shabti Charm

    Still not sure about the name, but I get that you're having it "attach" to another magic item like a charm on a necklace. I'm not sure what the value is of associating it with the shabti funerary dolls, though. Yes, it's a figurine (which you want to activate as an animated object)...but they're not typically attached to anything. So, the item choice (and its typical associations) aren't necessarly making the crossover into helping explain this item's powers to me. But that's just my opinion...

    RonarsCorruption wrote:
    Aura faint transmutation; CL 11th

    Cool. You're good here.

    RonarsCorruption wrote:
    Slot none; Price 20,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.

    If it's going to be a "charm" that attaches to other magic items, the weight of 2 lbs. seems like a bit much. But, obviously, you want some heft to the construct, or it doesn't really make sense when it animates. That's giving it an even stronger vibe as a figurine of wondrous power now.

    RonarsCorruption wrote:

    Description

    Hanging from a loop of copper chain, this tiny clay figurine looks like a disfigured humanoid, grey and nearly featureless. Though short, the chain stretches to accommodate wrapping itself around any Medium or smaller magic item, which it will attune to over the course of one hour.

    What are Medium or smaller magic items? I mean, wands aren't sized differently for Large, Medium, or Small creatures, are they? I've never thought of them that way. Usually the size of objects comes into play when you're concerned about wielding something as a weapon. Like a dagger sized for a Large creature, which is more like a sword for a Medium creature. And so on...

    RonarsCorruption wrote:
    Upon its owners command once a day, the shabti charm springs to live with vigor, grasping hold of the item to which it is attuned and following instructions put to it for up to 11 rounds, at which point it returns to its inert state in whatever square it is currently in. The owner may command the shabti charm as a move action during this time.

    Should be "owner's command" rather than "owners command" and "springs to life" instead of "springs to live." You also italicized shabti charm in one place, but didn't in another. Be consistent with your grammar and presentation, or it starts setting off alarm bells for the judges. At least, it would for me.

    RonarsCorruption wrote:
    While active, the shabti is a tiny construct with a 10 ft. move speed, an AC of 18, hardness 1 and 6hp. It can carry and manipulate its attuned object no matter the weight, but cannot otherwise manipulate other objects weighing more than 1 lb.

    Wise move to fall back to construct rather than humanoid. Still need to capitalize "Tiny" for the construct's size. You also need a space between the value for your hit points and "hp."

    I'm really confused by the sentence where "...It can carry and manipulate its attuned object no matter the weight, but cannot otehrwise manipulate other objects weighing more than 1 lb." It sounds like this thing would have its hands full with whatever item was entrusted into its care from the beginning. Additionally, if you wrapped this thing about a magic sword and commanded it to fight, is that even possible? A Tiny construct wielding a Medium sword would look ridiculous...though, as worded here, your item would allow it to "manipulate" the sword regardless of weight.

    I think this new wording has painted your shabti into a design corner where you might not want to tread.

    RonarsCorruption wrote:
    While commanding the shabti charm, the owner may instruct the shabti to activate its attuned item. For this purpose, the shabti has a Use Magic Device modifier of +10. Successfully activating the item expends the remainder of the charm's daily power, returning the shabti to its inert state at the beginning of the next round.

    Okay. Limited duration then if you want it to expend an action activating its attuned item.

    RonarsCorruption wrote:

    Construction

    Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, animate object, creator must have 10 ranks in Use Magic Device; Cost 10,000 gp

    Still need to put an "s" on animate objects.

    Focus, grasshopper! ;-)

    RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

    Jacob Trier wrote:
    I know Clark already weighed in on the magma gauntlets, but I'd love to hear what you think too.

    Nope. You got a review from Clark already. Plus, you've made Top 32 before. You should know the drill. No need for me to review another of your personal designs here.

    RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

    Neil Spicer wrote:
    Jacob Trier wrote:
    I know Clark already weighed in on the magma gauntlets, but I'd love to hear what you think too.
    Nope. You got a review already. Plus, you've made Top 32 before. You should know the drill. No need for me to review another of your personal designs here.

    That's fair. I suppose it was asking a bit too much. I'll go practice monster stat blocks and encounter design instead.

    Star Voter 2013

    Clearly, I need to brush up on my template-fu, this is getting embarrassing!

    But more than that, it's also very clear that as much as I like the idea of a charm that can allow you to activate magic items remotely, it isn't superstar in this incarnation.

    Back to the drawing board!

    Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

    Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
    Beaten by Neil! He typed 4x what I did in 1/2 the time. He is some kind of unnatural beast!

    Now you feel my pain :) Try judging with him. He's a machine! And pretty much always right.

    Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I feel compelled to point this out:

    Don't lose the forest for the trees.

    All of Neil's advice is awesome and it helps make better items. But some of the high level nit pick stuff is just not stuff that would get an item from being in the keep pile. We dont expect perfect items, we expect AWESOME ones. Ones that make us say "cool!" and "I really want to see what this guy or girl can bring in the contest."

    I don't mean to reduce Neil's critiques. They are amazing, and frankly far beyond what I am capable of (thus my comment I couldnt win Superstar). BUT the downside of critiques this detailed is that it suggests this is what we are looking for in round 1 and it really isnt.

    Wow us.

    Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games

    RC, I like that you took the comments and pulled back to the real issue, the big issue: is this idea Superstar? THAT is what we are looking for. If you make a few template mistakes, Neil will grumble but the awesome idea will get you through where a mediocre idea with perfect execution might not.

    Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

    Neil Spicer wrote:
    ... as a former-judge, however...

    Sadness.

    I have said this before, but Neil is the definition of RPGSuperStar. From his keeping up with the rest 'carrying a 50 pound pack' to his pursuing the opportunities opened by RPGSS to his panels at PaizoCon to his becoming a judge. Even the way he judged: 'the machine' punching out reviews, in-depth analysis of a 'wizard' his encouraging (was he Paula?) comments, and of course, his two cents.

    Your in-depth critiques are awesome and appreciated, thanks for joining just because it will improve the contest.

    Take Neil's critique and give us a rewrite. It is one thing to take notes and accept critique. It is another to apply them. Do a rewrite. Do it soon, practice is nearly over. :)

    Spoiler:
    nah... that's become Neil's signature too

    Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Dedicated Voter 2015

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

    Ok Curaigh, you asked for it :)

    This revised version now tips the scales at 300 words dead in Office 2010, so if it were a formal entry, I would be really going at the sentences in depth.

    I have also attempted to the secondary power - again attempting to make it scale in a similar way to the main power.

    I have changed the name to be more descriptive of what the item is.

    I have also revised the price somewhat in light (!) of the secondary powers - hopefully it wont have impacted low level utility too much.

    So here is the revised version:

    Projecting Holy Symbol
    Aura faint evocation; CL 3rd
    Slot none; Price 6,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
    Description

    The projecting holy symbol is a hand held, engraved, solid gold holy symbol. It is wreathed in shadow if the wielder channels negative energy. If the wielder channels positive energy, it twinkles as if highly polished and reflective.

    A projecting holy symbol allows the bearer to center their channel energy burst to any square within 30-ft of themselves. At higher levels, the channeler may distribute their channeling dice pool equally across multiple burst points to a maximum of 3 burst points, all of which must be targeted within the base channeling area of effect. You must have at least as many channeling dice available as selected burst points.

    Projecting multiple bursts changes the burst size. Selecting 2 burst point’s reduces each burst to be a 20-ft burst, 3 points reduces to 15-ft bursts. Excess channeling dice are lost when distributed equally across multiple burst points. Bursts that overlap allow the dice to stack only in those squares within both bursts, but for any other purpose, overlapping zones count as a single channel energy effect.

    For a positive channeler, the bursts counter darkness within the burst's area of effect for one round per dice expended in the affected area. A negative channeler's bursts counter light in the same way. The channel energy burst point does not need to be changed for this effect to trigger.

    Construction
    Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, consecrate, darkness, desecrate, light, creator must have the channel energy class ability; Cost 3,000 gp

    RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

    Clark Peterson wrote:
    ...Don't lose the forest for the trees....If you make a few template mistakes, Neil will grumble but the awesome idea will get you through where a mediocre idea with perfect execution might not.

    This can't be stated enough. What Clark has asserted here is ABSOLUTELY true. Awesome ideas will always trump the nit-picky stuff. That said, I am most certainly a nit-picky person. It comes part and parcel with being a very detailed, analytical, near-OCD type individual. But that's also what makes me, me. And I think it's important to strive for perfection in whatever you do, knowing full well you won't get there, but your end product is always better the more you raise the bar. So, why not examine every possible detail and angle to improve something? You should want your item to look like it came straight off the pages of an actual book of magic items. And yet, at the same time, it'd better not be "just another item that could appear in a book of magic items." It needs to be Superstar! That means it needs to be creative and innovative and even a little surprising, inspiring, and eye-catching.

    No one should take my detailed critiques here (or elsewhere) as an example of the process I used when sorting items or choosing between Keep and Reject. No. These critiques are only meant to help those who are interested in getting better at writing and game design...or, specifically, wondrous item design. Hopefully, that's become clear over the past couple of years. But, if you just focus on getting the template right and having your grammar correct and making the right spell references and mechanical phrasing, and you don't actually spend enough time coming up with a creative, compelling, Superstar idea...you're not going to make the Keep pile anyway. And certainly not the Top 32.

    Really, the only time the nit-picky stuff starts to factor into the judging process is when there's something glaringly off. An egregious breach of grammar, obviously broken mechanics or rules reference, a complete lack of attention to detail, etc., which...when everything else is considered...tips the scales in such a way that an item's design (and hence, its designer) isn't compelling enough to beat out 32 other items/designers we might be comparing.

    So, listen to Clark (and the other judges). MAKE YOUR ITEM AWESOME FIRST! Then, improve it by making sure your presentation is as professional and clean as possible. A truly Superstar designer should ultimately be capable of doing both these things. But the Top 32 aren't Superstar designers yet. The contest...and whatever assignments come afterward...should help them become better. And that's why it's important for everyone outside the contest...i.e., the voting public...to help them get better with your feedback and analysis, as well. My stuff wasn't perfect when I made the Top 32. And I know I certainly benefited from everyone's comments (from the judges and voters) during my run. We all have a role to play in this contest, be that judge/cheerleader, designer/contestant, or voter/supporter.

    And for those who ignore or refuse to apply this advice, there's always...

    Spoiler:
    EXPLOSIVE RUNES!!!

    Thanks, Curaigh. Good luck this year. But make your own, if you can...

    My two cents,
    --Neil

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